ILOILO – A marine biologist is urging the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to immediately ban the gathering of shellfishes in areas affected by oil spill in Estancia town here.
Dr. Resurreccion Sadaba, Oil Spill Response Program Manager of the University of the Philippines-Visayas and consultant of Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., made the appeal on Monday during the meeting of Power Barge 103 Task Force held at the Provincial Capitol.
“I saw a fisherman gathering shellfish in an area affected by oil spill over the weekend and this activity must be stopped for a while since the total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) analysis of marine life there is not yet done,” Sadaba said.
BFAR, according to him, is the agency in charge of conducting TPH analysis and their representative has been told about this in their previous meetings.
He also recommended that the Bantay Dagat Task Force must be there in the area to warn fishermen of the possible oil spill contamination among shellfishes and other marine life.
“There should be no fishing activity in the area for we are uncertain of the safety of shellfish until there is TPH analysis,” he reiterated.
After the discovery of oil spill on November 11, the Department of Health Region 6 then issued a series of public health warnings, including seafood consumption.
“As a precaution, we already informed the public to temporarily avoid eating seafood,” said DOH-6 epidemiologist Dr. Glen Alonsabe.
The public is not also allowed to swim near the oil spill site in Barangay Botongon, Estancia.
Power Barge 103 of National Power Corporation, containing 4-million liters of bunker fuel, caused the oil spill after it was dislodged from its original position during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda on November 8, 2013. (Jezza A. Nepomoceno/Capitol News)